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Christians Around The World Pray For Iran Government

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 | Tag Cloud

By BosNewsLife News Center

TEHRAN, IRAN (BosNewsLife) -- Christians in Iran and around the world prayed Tuesday, June 27, for Iran's government, amid concerns over persecution of churches and political opponents in the Islamic nation.

"Today we want to pray for all those who hold public office in Iran and other people of influence in Iranian society," said organizers on website www.prayforiran.com “Iran is led by a Supreme Ruler who controls all key levels of power, there are many thousands of other people who work in Iran’s various branches of national and local government and they need our prayers."

The government prayers is part of a global 40 days of prayer and fasting campaign "for the salvation" of Iran which began on 'Ascension Day', May 25. "In response to the current crisis surrounding Iran, over 120 Iranian church leaders have pledged" to participate in the prayers, said Sam Yeghnazar, President of Elam Ministries, an evangelical group aimed at strengthening and expanding churches in Iran and beyond.

There has been concern about reports of persecution of Christian converts. Last year a Muslim convert to Christianity was reportedly stabbed to death in nearby Gonbad-e-Kavus, 60 miles (96 kilometers) from Gorgan. The body of Ghorban Dordi Tourani, 53, was thrown in front of his home a few hours after he was arrested from his home on November 22, 2005, investigators said.

NUCLEAR AMBITIONS

Besides worries over persecution and growing Islamic extremism, there is also concern over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad nuclear ambitions and his attitude towards Israel and Jews.

The 40-days of prayer, which is expected to deal with different aspects of Iranian society and what Christians see as a "spiritual battle," has "not been a long time in planning. It was first discussed on April 21, 2006," said Yeghnazar earlier. "Because it is important, the idea has gathered much pace. Because it is urgent, we cannot wait," he added.

Organizers said that Monday’s prayer for the government was based on the Bible’s Proverbs 21:1: "The Lord controls rulers, just as He determines the course of rivers."

SUPREME LEADER

Under Iran’s complicated system, Iran’s president is highest state authority after the Supreme Leader, who is appointed by 'virtuous and learned' clerics.

The parliament comprises 290 officials, including women, who are elected every four years. Minority groups, including the Jews (1 member), Assyrians (1) and Armenians (2) have representation in parliament.

The 'Expediency Council', which is appointed by the Supreme Ruler, is one of the most powerful bodies in Iran. It is responsible to settle disputes between parliament and the Council of Guardians, which appoints presidential candidates and advises the Supreme Ruler.

OPPOSITION GROUP

However "in recent years there has emerged a growing group of intellectuals who are striving to reconcile tradition with modernity. These are people with revolutionary backgrounds who believe the regime has failed to deliver on true political liberty and social justice and are therefore trying to rethink the [Islamic] revolution," which created the current political system, Iranian Christians said.

“Though they have faced fierce opposition, their viewpoints are having an increasing impact in Iran and this can be seen in the Iranian film industry, arts, literature, as well as in the political world. So today we want to join and pray that God will direct the rulers and people of influence in Iran," they added. They said they would ask God to give government officials “wisdom” and "protection" to those involved in fighting injustice “as their families face threats and opposition.

In addition, organizers of the global prayer chain for Iran, have been urging churches and individual Christians to, "Pray that the Lord will raise up men and women who will champion the cause of truth and righteousness in all levels of government and that, ”Iranian Christians will be able to communicate clearly to Iranian society the Biblical view of freedom, human rights, and religious liberty." (With BosNewsLife's Stefan J. Bos and reports from Iran).

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Worthy Christian News » Christian Persecution » Christian Persecution - Asia » Christians Around The World Pray For Iran Government